Drew Geldbach kicked a 34-yard field goal to lift Southeast Missouri (2-2, 1-0) to a dramatic 41-38 double overtime victory over Tennessee Tech (2-2, 0-1) Saturday night in front of a Family Weekend crowd of 8,327 at Missouri National Guard Field/Houck Stadium.
Geldbach's game-winning field goal came during the second overtime possession after a wide open D.J. Foster hauled in a 25-yard Scott Lathrop pass to tie the game at 38-38. Foster bobbled the ball, but secured it in just enough time to stay in-bounds in the back of the end zone.
After Geldbach's kick split the uprights, TTU took over on downs at Southeast's 25-yardline.
The Golden Eagles faced a 3rd-and-1 when Southeast's defense made a huge stop. Alonzo Nevarez and Daniel Siehndel dropped Stephen Bush for a loss of one yard.
On the next play, Zach Sharp attempted a 34-yard field goal, but his low kick sailed wide left, ending the game.
"Tonight was one of the more amazing games of my career," said Southeast head coach Tony Samuel. "Everytime we play Tennessee Tech, it seems it boils down to this. Both teams played hard and we hung on a little longer down the stretch."
As Samuel mentioned, these teams continue to go down to the wire year-in and year-out. In fact, nine of the last 10 meetings between the Redhawks and Golden Eagles have been decided by seven points or less.
A see-saw fourth quarter set the stage for the dramatic ending.
Lathrop's 1-yard run finished off an 11-play, 76-yard drive to grab Southeast a 28-24 advantage with 11:55 on the clock.
TTU pieced together a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive the next time it had the ball. Lamb's 21-yard completion to Krys Cates set up a 9-yard touchdown by Bush, giving the Golden Eagles a slight 31-28 edge with just under nine minutes to play.
Geldbach's other field goal, this time from 39 yards out, tied things up at 31-31 before the game headed to overtime.
Levi Terrell rushed for a career-high 171 yards on 25 carries, averaging 6.8 yards per run for a Southeast offense which outgained TTU, 256-79, on the ground. Terrell also had a career-long 48-yard rush in the first quarter. His top two single-game rushing totals have come against the Golden Eagles.
Foster tied a career-high seven catches and amassed 101 receiving yards. He added two touchdown receptions, as well. It marked the second time Foster had 100 receiving yards in a game.
Lathrop completed 7-of-10 passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, the Redhawks forced three more turnovers, all of which were interceptions. Southeast scored a pair of defensive touchdowns in a game for the first time since Sept. 16, 2000 (vs. Illinois State).
Blake Peiffer paved the way with 15 tackles, his 13th career game with 10 or more. Nevarez chipped in a career-high six tackles and 1.5 sacks. Southeast finished with three sacks for a loss of 22 yards on the night after going its previous three games without a sack.
Southeast now has 16 takeaways this season and has forced multiple turnovers in six-straight games dating back to 2011.
Rogers, an All-SEC receiver at Tennessee prior to transferring to TTU, had a game-high 18 catches for 303 yards and two touchdowns.
Lamb completed 38-of-57 passes for 481 yards and three TDs. The Golden Eagles finished with 560 yards of total offense.
Southeast improved to 6-16 all-time in Ohio Valley Conference openers. This year marked the third time where Southeast and TTU met to open league play. Additionally, the Redhawks improved to 5-1 in overtime games since moving to the NCAA Division I level.
Tonight was Military Appreciation Night and Southeast wore red jerseys with grey camoflauge numbers and trim as part of the special event.
The Redhawks hit the road to face Jacksonville State on Sept. 29.